Forward this email | View in web browser
Northern Ag News Banner
Thursday 23 May 2024

In this edition

Avian influenza situation
AI situation banner image

The Avian Influenza situation in Victoria’s south west is an evolving situation and the best way to keep on top of the latest information is to visit our website.

Consumers should not be concerned about eggs and poultry products from the supermarkets, they do not pose a risk and are safe to consume.

This situation is a timely reminder that every producer should have an on-farm biosecurity plan and know the signs of diseases that could affect their animals.

Any suspicion of an emergency animal disease (EAD) should be immediately reported to the 24-hour EAD Hotline on 1800 675 888 or to your local vet.

Autumn and livestock decisions
Feeding sheep image

Dr Jeff Cave, Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer

Now is the time for producers to assess their livestock situation as we wait for the autumn break.

During this time, livestock may start experiencing the effects of the shortfall of paddock feed.

To ensure livestock make it through this period, some timely and sometimes difficult decisions need to be made.

Producers need to examine all their options carefully and be confident in answering the following questions:

  • have I got enough supplementary feed on hand?
  • if not, will I be able to source it at a reasonable price?
  • is agistment an option, what is the cost and how far will my stock have to travel?
  • do I need to sell some stock now?

Decisions need to be made carefully. Having a well-constructed and realistic plan is a valuable tool in assisting with the decision-making process.

By using a timeline with details such as ‘if it has not rained by this date, I need to sell 100 wethers’, often eases the pressure on producers and therefore their livestock.

Allowing livestock to starve is never an option and legislation allows the prosecution of livestock owners and managers who let this happen.

For further advice please contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer, or in NSW your Local Land Services, or visit our website.

Protecting agriculture from animal disease threats
Protecting livestock image

The Victorian Government is protecting Victoria’s thriving $20 billion agriculture industry – by strengthening the state’s biosecurity practices and preparedness to quickly and effectively respond to emerging animal diseases.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence recently released the new State Emergency Animal Disease Response Plan which builds on the first plan published in 2022 and sets out how the Government will respond to any threats.

Australia faces heightened risk of biosecurity incursions due to recent detections of emerging animal diseases in neighbouring countries - which is why Victoria needs the most up-to-date response to protect our agriculture industry.

The emergency animal diseases response plan will help to eradicate a disease outbreak in the shortest time possible while minimising the social, environmental, welfare and economic impacts on the Victorian community.

The updated plan builds on ongoing work to prepare for an emergency animal disease outbreak by setting out how the government and agencies will respond to an emergency and outlining the action required to protect our agriculture industry.

The plan outlines step-by-step the mitigation, preparedness, response, relief and recovery arrangements for a large-scale emergency animal disease outbreak.

The updates include improving and streamlining emergency response structures and clarifying roles and responsibilities – to ensure a quick and strong response to any outbreaks.

It also creates a more robust overview of relief and recovery – outlining agency responsibilities across government and ensuring all agencies have clear emergency responsibilities that can be activated quickly and seamlessly when required.

This plan builds on the existing work to train staff across government, with more than 750 people having completed essential training required to be deployed in an emergency animal disease emergency.

Since 2022, the Victorian Government has invested $43 million to deliver the dedicated emergency animal disease preparedness program - this was reinforced in the Victorian Budget 2024/25 with $15.8 million invested to better identify and respond to biosecurity emergencies.

To learn more about emergency animal disease preparedness and the new response plan, visit

Men penalised for hunting in National Park

Two men from Waaia near Numurkah have faced the Echuca Magistrates’ Court for illegally hunting deer in the Barmah National Park near Echuca last year in April.

The men were ordered to pay a total of $600 in fines and were both placed on diversion programs.

The Game Management Authority’s (GMA) Director of Compliance and Intelligence, Zac Powell, said the GMA was patrolling the park where illegal hunting had been reported.

'Authorised officers from the GMA and Parks Victoria conducted a joint investigation into two men who were detected illegally hunting,' Mr Powell said.

'The men were in possession of a firearm and a hunting bow within the Barmah National Park. GMA officers identified and interviewed the men who were charged with hunting in a prohibited area.

'Hunting is not permitted at any time in the Barmah National Park. Those who break the law face significant fines and penalties.

'Thank you to the community members and hunters who report illegal hunting to the GMA. These reports help us to target high-risk areas and help keep the community safe.'

Hunters and the public are urged to report illegal hunting to the GMA through its website at or by calling 136 186. If an urgent response is required, call 000.

The GMA assesses all reports of illegal behaviour and works closely with its partner agencies, to conduct enforcement and compliance operations across Victoria.

Growing tomorrow’s farmers
Gap year program banner image

AgCAREERSTART is looking for employers/farmers who:

  • are able to offer a safe and positive experience for a young Australian
  • have the capacity to teach and support someone who might have limited experience in agriculture
  • are able to offer full-time paid employment for a period of 10 – 12 months in 2025*
  • can offer flexibility to your participant so they can undertake training and attend industry events
  • can provide accommodation or assist in finding accommodation off farm.

When you sign up you will:

  • receive a $2,000 grant
  • get support from the AgCAREERSTART team to mentor and train your participant
  • gain access to industry events and the broader National Farmers’ Federation network.

For more information click here

*Participants must be paid at – or above-award wages. All host farms must provide a signed employment contract to AgCAREERSTART before the placement commences.

The AgCAREERSTART pilot is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Fox and wild dog bounty

Victoria’s bounty collections resumed on 4 March 2024.

Please continue to check our website for the latest information, collection centres and dates. CLICK HERE

For any assistance, please speak to our bounty collection staff on collection days or call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Expressions of interest are open for sheep and cattle producer groups
EOI extended banner image

Extended to Thursday 13 June.

Expressions of interest are open for sheep and cattle producer groups interested in running an on-farm demonstration.

Find out more HERE or contact

This program is in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Victorian Gorse Taskforce community grants now open

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) with support from Agriculture Victoria offers funding support for community-led gorse control projects.

Community grants program objectives:

  • Reduce the impacts of gorse on environmental, agricultural, and social values
  • Strengthen community and stakeholder connections for better gorse outcomes
  • Build community knowledge and capacity in managing gorse
  • Promote best practice gorse management.

Community groups may apply for funding up to $8,000 for on ground gorse control works on private land.

All participating landholders involved may receive up to $1,500 in grant funding and must match this with their own monetary contribution.

Grants are available to all Victorian Community Group organisations that have a focus on improving natural and agricultural areas.

How to apply
Click here to download a copy of the 2024/25 VGT Community Grants Funding Guidelines and the application form.

Once you have completed your application, email to

For more information, contact the VGT on 0417 593 250 or at

Minerals exploration explained
DEECA officers in field image

Resources Victoria has released the first instalment of a video series helping to explain important and sometimes misunderstood aspects of the state’s resources sector.

Minerals exploration and mining are often confused. Though both are essential stages along the path to developing a resource, the process and scale are very different.

In Minerals Exploration Explained we asked a Victorian minerals explorer to outline in their own words what they do, the techniques they use, how they select a site and how it is restored.

Mineral explorers use low-impact methods to understand local geology and look for evidence of minerals over a large area, then typically focus activities on a smaller zone.

It typically involves mapping, water and soil sample testing, surveying the ground from the surface or air and targeted drilling.

If an exploration licence is granted and a commercially viable deposit identified, a separate process toward mining would involve environmental assessment and extensive local engagement.

Click here for more information and to view the video.

Make this your moment – the Governor of Victoria Export Awards
The Gov of Vic export awards banner image

Get ready to shine in the spotlight!

Applications have now opened for the Governor of Victoria Export Awards (GOVEA).

Open to all Victorian exporters, regardless of business size or total export sales, winning a GOVEA isn't just about recognition; it's about catapulting your business to new heights.

GOVEA winners automatically receive a place as finalists in the National Export Awards.

Boost your brand and gain exposure to potential clients, investors, and partners, both locally and globally.

Showcase your innovation to the business community in 2024.

Apply now by visiting

Applications close 14 June.

In case you missed it

Building a stronger farm business for tomorrow

Supporting growers to build their knowledge and skills to strengthen their farm business and be better equipped to manage the risks of a variable climate.


What's On

Details about Agriculture Victoria events can now be found in one spot on our website.

Log on to to find out what's on.

Tatura horticulture event – Building a stronger farm business for tomorrow

Register now – you are invited to join other horticulture growers for a free short business course over May and June at the Tatura SmartFarm.

Goulburn Murray Horticulture Farm Business Resilience program is supporting growers to build on their knowledge and skills to strengthen their farm business and be better equipped to manage the risks associated with a variable climate.

These sessions will focus on building and strengthening your business productivity, rather than on individual business information e.g. finances.

Technical specialists will present:

Wed and Thurs 29-30 May on:

  • Identifying and managing risks
  • Managing people on-farm, succession planning and farm safety
  • Onsite biosecurity planning.

Wed and Thurs 12-13 June on:

  • Climate risk and natural resource management
  • Cost of production, financial management, budgeting.

To register click here 

For more information contact Andy Clark on 0436 804 656 or at

Export Pricing Webinar
Export pricing webinar banner image

Ready to grow your agri-food and beverage business by exploring export opportunities but not sure where to start?

Join us for a free Export Development Program.

Agriculture Victoria's Pathways to Export is partnering with Export Connect to deliver a series of in-person masterclass workshops in Gippsland and Melbourne and online export strategy webinars.

In-person sessions:

  • Friday 24 May – 9 am – 4 pm, Agriculture Victoria Attwood Centre, 475-485 Mickleham Road.


  • Pitch Development: Tuesday 28 May – 2 – 4 pm
  • International Buyer and Exporter Panel: Tuesday 4 June – 2 – 4 pm.

Register here for 1 or more sessions.

Tatura dairy event – Catch the latest dairy updates

Goulburn Valley dairy producers are encouraged to come along and hear from expert presenters on the latest dairy genomic research and livestock supplements to address climate and emissions.

The event will be held at the Agriculture Victoria Tatura SmartFarm on Thursday 6 June, starting at 10:30 am.

There will be three specialists presenting, including:

  • Ainslie MacDonald, Research Fellow with the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre at Melbourne University. Ainslie will provide an update on supplements that inhibit methane production and explain the efficiency, safety, costs and impacts of methane mitigation options.
  • Agriculture Victoria’s Research Director Dr Jennie Pryce will share her extensive knowledge in and updates on dairy genomic research and development.
  • PhD student Laura Jensen, who will present her PhD project on heat tolerance Australian Breeding Value (ABV) and the use of sensor data.

Please note as lunch and refreshments will be provided, registrations are required.

If you would like to register to attend or would like more information, contact Richard Smith 0436 803 765 or at

Kerang and Numurkah Centre Pivot and Lateral Move workshops

Agriculture Victoria is running a two-day workshop on centre pivot and lateral move (CPLM) irrigation systems facilitated by Peter Smith, Sapphire Irrigation Consulting.

The workshop is targeted at farmers and service providers involved with the design and installation of CPLM systems or aiming to optimise the performance and management of an existing system.

Participation will be free of charge.

Participants will learn and understand:

  • the key design considerations for an efficient CPLM system with uniform application
  • the financial considerations associated with the purchase and operation of a CPLM
  • planning considerations when installing a CPLM
  • the key measures and indicators of CPLM system performance
  • technology options including variable application rate, end guns and sprinkler packs
  • irrigation scheduling and operation for improved agronomy
  • energy efficiency considerations.

Kerang workshop

Dates: Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 26 June - 8:30 am to 4 pm
Location: Kerang Agriculture Victoria Office
Contact: Adam Taylor - 0439 412 366
RSVP: Wednesday 19 June.

Numurkah workshop

Dates: Thursday 27 June and Friday 28 - 8:30 am to 4 pm
Location: Shamrock Hotel Numurkah
Contact: Chris Pollard - 0473 085 873
RSVP: Wednesday 19 June.

Bridgewater Run4Resilience on May 27
Fun run banner image


Choose your distance to register and help build stronger and more resilient farming communities!

Run it, walk it, push it!

For more information or to register click here

GRDC Grains Research Update - aerial application, drones and market access to EU canola markets

4 June
10 - 11:30 am




Come and listen to the experts and join in the discussion on three topics: Aerial application, drones and market access to EU canola markets.

Topics and presenters:

  • increasing momentum behind on-farm sustainability accreditation and developing market signals. ISCC canola standards and market access issues when selling canola overseas. Rosemary Richards (Sustainable Grain Australia)
  • aerial application in broadacre crop production. Scott Mackie (South East Air Ag)
  • drones for spraying, weed mapping and other uses - licensing, uses and limitations. Tristan Steventon (Stevtech) and Aaron Parker (Aussie Drones).

Register here

GRDC Farm Business Update

18 June
9:30 am to 3:15 pm

40 Silverwoods Boulevard

19 June
9:30 am to 3:15 pm

All Seasons Resort
171 McIvor Highway


The GRDC Farm Business Update events drive innovation and adoption of improved farm business management practices across the grains industry.

Contact Jane Foster on (03) 5441 6176 or at to learn more.

Cost: $30

Yarrawonga: register here.

Bendigo: register here.

Livestock purchasing for small farms, and understanding 'Fit to Load'

Agriculture Victoria and the City of Greater Bendigo are inviting you to a free workshop on buying and selling healthy livestock, and understanding what is ‘fit to load’ in a small farm context.

  • Are you a hobby farmer or manage a small–scale landholding in the Bendigo area?
  • Are you buying or selling livestock, or is it something that you are planning to do in the future?
  • Do you know the legal requirements when buying and selling livestock, and what support people are available to assist locally?

When: Wednesday, 12 June at Quality Hotel Lakeside, 286 Napier Street, Bendigo from 6 – 8:30 pm.

The workshop will cover:

  • How to buy and sell animals as a small livestock producer
  • Do I need a livestock agent?
  • Can I buy animals off Facebook?
  • Who pays for transport?
  • Can I view them before I buy them?
  • What are my obligations as a hobby farmer or livestock owner?
  • How to know if your animal is healthy before bringing it onto your farm
  • Understanding ‘fit to load’
  • What are the legal requirements of buying and selling livestock?

To register or for more information click here

Natural Capital Forum at Bendigo
Forum banner image

‘Natural capital’ is the latest innovative thinking about our environment and how it relates to the economy, and the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) wants to give local farmers and businesses an opportunity to benefit from it.

The forum will be held at Bendigo’s Capital Theatre on June 13, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Topics and speakers include:

  • ESG Insights: From Global Trends to On-Farm Practices - Katie McRobert, General Manager / Acting CEO, Australian Farm Institute
  • Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounting - Jim Radford, Associate Professor, Department of Environment and Genetics, School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment, La Trobe University
  • Enhancing farm profitability, resilience and sustainability - Angela Hawdon, Strategic Engagements Manager, Farming for the Future
  • Understanding On-Farm Emissions - Alison Kelly, Farm Emissions Specialist, Agriculture Victoria
  • Farmers Insights - Hear from farmers who have engaged with natural capital and carbon markets.

The forum will help people understand what natural capital is, what it means for farm businesses, and weight up the opportunities and the risks.

For bookings and more information, go to North Central CMA Events page.

Tickets are $25 and are limited.

For more information and/or to register click here

Animal health planning workshop at Osbornes Flat
Animal health planning flyer image
BWBL and BetterBeef conferences
BWBL and BetterBeef conferences banner image

Early bird ticket discounts end next week for the BestWool/BestLamb and BetterBeef conferences and dinner in Ballarat on 19-20 June.

To secure your discounted tickets click here

A one-day conference ticket is only $80 and a full package two-day conference and dinner ticket is $200.

Visit our events web page to download the program and learn more.

Stock Sense calving webinar
Calving image

New to calving? Wanting to learn more? Maybe you just need a quick refresher

This free webinar is perfect for you.

Get ready for the calving season with a checklist covering everything you need to know.

From when to call a vet to prepping your calving box, we've got you covered.

Join Stock Sense and seasoned expert Rob Bananno, who brings over 30 years of farming and veterinary experience to the table.

Don't miss out on this invaluable session!

DATE: Wednesday 26 June

TIME: 6:30 - 7 pm


Grasslands Society of Southern Australia – 54th Annual Conference
GSSA banner image for conference

The GSSA conference at Bendigo on 17-18 July will offer something for everyone.

The central theme will focus on ‘Evidence Based Decision Making’ and the topics have been built around what farmers need to know.
Delegates will be able to choose from two bus tours.

One to a property north of Bendigo integrating lucerne into a profitable livestock system and one to a higher rainfall perennial pasture property south of Bendigo.

Topics will include:

  • Carbon - An informed farmers perspective
  • Carbon neutral livestock production - is it possible?
  • Soil carbon and fertility
  • Measuring and knowing your soil carbon levels
  • Old clover identification and sub optimal clover nodulation
  • Paddock livestock weighing
  • What bugs you?
  • Use of drones in agriculture
  • Facial livestock recognition
  • Remote pasture measurement
  • Running lambs on improved varieties of perennial ryegrass vs more persistent Victorian ryegrass - animal responses above yield responses
  • N efficiency and endophytes in ryegrass pastures
  • Introduction to fertiliser calculator tool.

Click here for more information - 2024 GSSA Annual Conference

Livestock 2024 Conference – August, Albury NSW
2024 Livestock Conference banner image

The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) is excited to announce their third biennial Livestock Conference with the overarching theme of Environmental challenges and opportunities for Australian livestock industries.

Sessions will include keynote speakers and group workshop activities and cover the following:

  • improving land, air and water
  • solutions for human capacity
  • economic considerations and market impacts.

Click here for more information about the upcoming conference.

If you would like to register for conference updates you can join the mailing list here.

Subscribe to Northern Ag News

Enjoying the Northern Ag News? Then why not forward to a friend or subscribe yourself.

It's easy – simply click this link.

Contacting Agriculture Victoria

Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call (except for mobiles and public telephones).

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or

All contact points can be found at:

Don't forget to check out Agriculture Victoria's social media sites for up-to-date information and news.



'Like' our Agriculture Victoria Facebook page.


Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @VicGovAg


Subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria YouTube channel. 


Email -